hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
68,872 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Dodge Dakota steering problems

steering problem

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2004 Dodge Dakota Owner Comments (Page 2 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #43

Jan 012011

Dakota 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated the steering wheel would become stiff while driving at various speeds. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer where they informed that the steering mechanism failed and needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileages were 52,000. Updated 06/03/11 updated 06/13/11

- Lititz, PA, USA

problem #42

Apr 152011

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
Power steering goes loose-stiff-loose-stiff while turning.

- Charlotte, NC, USA

problem #41

Nov 202010

Dakota 4WD 8-cyl

  • 56,955 miles
My 2004 Dodge Dakota began having steering issues last fall which became increasingly worse over the following weeks. The power steering seemed to have stopped working. When I made a turn it was stiff, then loose, then stiff again as you cranked the steering wheel. This would cause me to apply more pressure to turn the truck, then the steering wheel would suddenly loosen up, causing you to swerve. This caused me enough concern about my safety that I had a mechanic take a look. He first thought the problem was with the power steering fluid so he flushed out the system. Problem persisted. He then replaced the steering rack. Jerky/stiff steering continued to occur. After reading on a Dodge forum about this issue he tried the "temporary fix" of lubricating the lower U-joint on the intermediate rod and this seems to have returned the steering to a normal state. However, my mechanic feels this is a temporary fix and feels the rod should be replaced. Preferably with a rod that has grease fittings. Apparently there is a design flaw with this make and model which Dodge is aware of, but has failed to issue a recall for. Please look into this matter.

- Falls City, NE, USA

problem #40

Feb 162011

Dakota 8-cyl

  • 36,638 miles


My Dakotas steering has recently become very jerky. While turning the wheel, it gets stiff, loose, stiff, loose, stiff, loose in one full turn of the wheel. Through searching forums on the internet, I decided to test a theory that it was the intermediate shaft/rod and the U joint attached to it was not lubricated enough. After greasing up the joint, the problem momentarily stopped, but then returned. This joint does not have any grease fittings and should be replaced with ones with fittings. The problem occurred after winter coming into the warmer weather where there were a lot of puddles which most likely got on the intermediate shaft and joints causing it to dry out and create this problem.

- Anacostia Annex, DC, USA

problem #39

Apr 152009


  • 115,000 miles
The intermediate steering shaft withthe universal joints started tightening up to the point where I almost couldn't steer it then when it let loose the steering was very abrupt it started around 100 K miles and I understand things wear out.but aren't those supposed to be life of vehicle lubricated"????? I love my truck its been wonderful but if someone that was not as strong as me....and this happened I had the repair done and it was aonly around 300-400 bucks so its not horrible but it was scary not being able to steer my truck.....the mechanic said that this is common???" he sees it alot on this model truck..... I just though that I also have a 89 hoinda civic and have never had a problem with the steering.....

- Saukville, WI, USA

problem #38

Jan 152010


  • 130,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Dakota. While attempting a turn at approximately 10 mph, the steering wheel locked and the contact had to utilize extreme bodily force in order to move the steering wheel. The contact stated the failure would occur intermittently. The vehicle was not taken to the dealer for diagnostic testing or repairs. The contact the contact was able to temporarily repair the vehicle by lubricating the universal joint. He stated he would have to spray the universal joint every 1,500 to 2,000 miles. The failure mileage was 130,000 and the current mileage was 165,000.

- Sedalia, MO, USA

problem #37

Dec 132009


  • 60,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Dakota. The steering wheel was difficult to turn when the contact was driving approximately 55 mph. The vehicle continued with caution. The contact stated that the failure was contributed to the steering wheels intermediate shaft. The failure resulted in premature wear to the exhaust system. The part was ordered by an authorized dealer. The manufacturer was notified of the failure which there was no resolution. The failure mileage was 60,000.

- Salem, IN, USA

problem #36

Feb 042010

Dakota 6-cyl

  • 62,305 miles
My 2004 Dodge Dakota has steering problems. After taking it to a Dodge dealer and leaving it for two days they are unable to tell me what the problem is. The vehicle is very hard to steer. Fluid is not leaking, I have days that the steering is better than other days..but for the most part the steering is getting harder everyday. I feel that it is getting very unsafe to drive, yet I cannot get an answer to what is causing the problem. After searching the internet and this forum, I have found that there are many other 2004 Dakota owners with the same problem. Infact there was a recall on the 2000 to 2003 Dakotas for the same problem. Yet the 2004 has the same steering design. I think the 2004 Dakota should have been included in that recall. Please help!! as I can't seem to get any answers to what is causing this steering problem.

- Warwick, RI, USA

problem #35

Nov 162009


  • 59,000 miles
I have a 2004 Dodge Dakota quad cab 4X4 with the magnum engine. It has roughly 59,000 miles on it. Sometime within the past 3,000 miles the steering began to get stiff. It was a gradual thing, slowly getting worse until now I'm concerned about it from a safety standpoint. The exact symptoms at this point are that the steering will get stiff then smooth then stiff then smooth, depending on the position of the wheel during a turn. After researching this problem online for this particular model and year, it is apparently either the upper or lower U-joint on the steering column. I have not confirmed this, but wanted to lend my weight to the obviously huge number of Dodge Dakota/durango owners who have had this exact same problem.

- Carlisle, PA, USA

problem #34

Dec 202009


  • 89,000 miles
I have read so many of these same issues that I am having with my 2004 Dodge Dakota. The steering is locking up and very hard to turn. I've taken it into a dealership 3 times now, and they have replaced power steering pump, checked my rack and pinion, and all other options and the problem is still occurring. Very scary. Just had a baby and don't know what to do at this point where no one knows what the problem is. I have read up so many of these same complaints and they are all the same as what I am experiencing. There has got to be a problem and should be recalled. Very hard to turn wheel and go stiff loose stiff loose. Please advise. Thank you.

- Hopewell, VA, USA

problem #33

Sep 012009


  • 77,000 miles


Power steering high pressure side hose P/N 52110348ae. Hose is leaking and the part is on national backorder. Do not want to be stranded on the highway when the steering goes out or have a possible accident due to no steering.

- Machesney Park, IL, USA

problem #32

Feb 122009


  • 71,000 miles
I own a 2004 Dakota quad 4X4 with 78K miles on it. I bought the truck new and have taken care of it. Most of the miles are highway and it has not been driven off road. Since its no longer under warranty I got online to research a diy solution. I found that many of the problems I have had and are having are not just being experienced by myself but other Dakota owners. 1) steering issues the steering wheel becomes extremely hard to turn at times both going into and coming out of a turn. This started happening in Feb 2009 with 71K on it. It is much more prevalent in cold weather. I was unable to drive the truck until the weather warmed up. (I have not had this fixed yet.) 2) brake issues 27K I had to have the front rotors and the rear drums turned and new pads and shoes installed and had the brake fluid changed. 46K I had to have new front rotors and pads along with the brake fluid changed 77K rear brakes began making noise. The parking brake pad had fallen off. I now need new rear drums and shoes and parking brake shoe. ( I have not had this fixed yet) 3)suspension 77K I need a front upper ball joint probably due to excess strain from the defective steering. ( I have not had this fixed yet).

- Lowell, IN, USA

problem #31

Jul 172009


  • 60,000 miles
I can hardly steer my truck anymore even after replacing a power steering pump which I was told was the problem. It turned out that the pump was fine and after researching this very common problem on the web I am finding out that the steering issues are actually due to a faulty intermediate shaft. What does a girl have to do to get Dodge to correct this nationwide problem? it's seems only fair that a recall be initiated asap. I guess my only resort is to lube the shaft for now until Dodge finally acknowledges how many they have !@#$%.

- Dallastown, PA, USA

problem #30

Jul 232007

Dakota 8-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Dakota. The contact stated that the steering locks while driving. He took the vehicle to the dealer three different times and they replaced the power steering pump, which did not correct the failure. He then took the vehicle to an authorized automotive engineer and was informed that the universal joint that goes into the yoke was bent when it should be straight. The dealer finally repaired the vehicle, but the contact does not feel safe driving the vehicle. The failure mileage was 34,000 and current mileage was 47,017. Updated 8/27/09 updated 09/09/09

- Cross Plains, TN, USA

problem #29

Jul 012009


  • 70,000 miles
2004 Dodge Dakota intermediate steering shaft.

- Freeoprt, PA, USA

problem #28

Jul 202009


  • 54,000 miles
The steering in my 2004 Dodge Dakota is very tight. It takes all my strength to turn a corner. Then just when I get the wheel turned it gets very loose and I am over steering. But to turn the wheel back it is tight again. This is very difficult to drive as well as dangerous. I have read hundreds of complaints about this very same problem with the Dodge Dakota's. the problem seems to lie with an intermediate shaft in the steering. This needs to be recalled and fixed before someone is killed! it is almost impossible to drive my truck!

- Annville, PA, USA

problem #27

Jun 272009


  • 109,453 miles
2004 Dodge Dakota - power steering very stiff. This is very dangerous.

- Lyons, NY, USA

problem #26

Jun 052009


  • 94,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Dodge Dakota. While driving 55 mph, the steering became very stiff when making various turns. It felt as if the power steering was failing. The failure lasted for a week before the contact finally went to a mechanic. He was informed that the intermediate steering shaft failed. The dealer has not yet been notified. The vehicle has not been repaired because the necessary part is on backorder. The repair will be made at the contact's expense. The failure mileage was 94,000 and current mileage was 94,550.

- Kansas, MO, USA

problem #25

Jun 152009


  • 56,839 miles
2004 Dodge Dakota loses power steering intermittently. It cuts in and out while driving.

- Troy, IL, USA

problem #24

May 202009


  • 95,000 miles
1. normal driving (4 years 95,000 miles) 2. the steering is unpredictable and very stiff. I have a very hard time turning the vehicle with two hands on the wheel. The stiffness is sporadic and choppy. It makes the truck much more difficult to control and is a serious safety issue. 3. greasing the two U-joints on the intermediate shaft solved the problem. A grease tip on both joints would permanently solve the problem.

- Centreville, VA, USA

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